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11 December 2012, 11:38

AMD releases APP SDK 2.8 and CodeXL 1.0

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Version 2.8 of AMD's Accelerated Parallel Processing SDK (APP SDK) introduces support for Direct3D 11 and 64-bit atomics. The SDK also includes a pre-release version of Bolt, an STL-compatible C++ template library as well as sample code for OpenCL. Bolt should permit developers to generate OpenCL-optimised code using STL-like functions. This requires experience with STL (Standard Template Library) only, and means that developers do not need to call the OpenCL API and OpenCL kernel code directly.

Developers can also register for the beta version of the Bolt framework. Bolt should eventually be released separately and get its own public repository. The SDK also contains examples illustrating Java control of GPU and APU functions using Aparapi, an API for data parallel Java. AMD recommends using Catalyst driver versions 12.10 or later with the APP SDK.

Improvements have also been made to the mathematics libraries. The SDK includes, for example, version 1.8 of the APPML (Accelerated Parallel Processing Math Library). According to AMD, all the functions for level 2 and 3 BLAS are now supported. Real-to-compute support has been added to the FFT library. The MAGMA OpenCL library is likely to be of particular interest, as it offers various solutions for linear algebra problems, such as LR/QR and Cholesky factorisation, eigenvalue and singular value problems and various reductions and transformations.

AMD has also released CodeXL 1.0, a tool suite which helps with the maintenance and analysis of OpenCL code for "heterogeneous computing" (AMD's term for weaving together CPUs, GPUs and APUs). The suite aspires to enable users to analyse all major components via a shared interface. Core functions are a GPU debugger, a GPU/CPU profiler and a static analysis module for OpenCL kernels. This should enable developers to identify bottlenecks early and permit efficient energy management for individual components. The software is available as a standalone application for Linux and Windows or as a VisualStudio plugin.


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